Monday, July 7, 2008

How-to System Restore - Data Recovery

Posted by Hannah on 3:55 PM

Within Windows ME, Windows XP and Windows Vista you have utility called 'system restore' that can help you return your computer almost back in time when everything was working properly! Its the magic time machine for data recovery!

time machine

Depending on how your computer system is setup will depend on how many restore points your system will offer you. You computer will only store so many of them - the points of restoring that is!

Its kind of like a assembly line! A new restore point is made, and an old one falls in the HUGE computer DELETE pile! One in and ONE out!

Assembly Line


Some people will increase or decrease the amount of storage space that their computer will allow for this process! In Windows XP

Start -> Right Click my Computer properties
Click System Restore Tab
Under Disk space usage,Slide it according to how much disk space you need for your system restore.

Here is a quick video showing you the above directions for the storage space used for System Resource!



In Vista of course its MORE work! Vista for Beginners has a good explanation to do this!

A good hint if you plan on changing anything within your operation system like install a program, a device like a printer, or even change system settings like size of fonts - always 'create a restore' point before doing that. That way if anything goes wrong you can go back to previous condition of your computer!

Your computer MUST have enough storage space in order to use system restore, so if you know your computer is SHORT on storage space (space on your C drive) it not even be able to handle the system restore operation! You will know this by an error you get, or you don't have any restore points on your computer. You can try to free up some space on your hard drive by removing documents, programs, etc that are taking up precious space to see if you can get it working! There are other causes as well such as registry damage as well.

System Restore creates restore points during the day in case something goes wrong with your computer during the day. This is basically a data recovery program, and it will restore you computer to an earlier time! Lets say you decided to install a program, change a setting, or introduce your new webcam to the computer, and then all of a sudden your computer is really having problems! YEP computers can be moody!

Click your start button, and then programs or all programs, then accessories, then system tools. Under your system tools there should be a program called 'system restore'.

system restore

You can either 'create a restore point'

System Restore 1

Or as you can see from this screen 'restore my computer to an earlier time'

System Restore

Vista also shows backup, but you want SYSTEM restore. I wanted to show you this so you don't get confused!

vista system backup and restore


Depending on your operating system the options for calendar maybe different! This is one example of what you will see. All of them are pretty similiar calendars, and your screen should be pretty straight forward as far as what dates and times are available for you to use!

System Restore




If you are ON your computer during the afternoon, and all a sudden the computer decided to throw a temper tantrum you want to pick a time prior to the computer being MOODY!

You would then push next, and system restore will display a message basically asking you if you are SURE you want to do this!

System Restore ME

Your data files (like if you wrote a letter or report earlier that day) should be okay. Make sure you save them before contining! The program will tell you that this operation is reversible. Click NEXT again!

This data recovery program will take a little while to collect the information it needs to complete the process, and will restart the system as well. Once you log into your system again, and you may get messages that the restoration is complete or asks you if you want to undo the system restore operation.


Here is a video basically going over the items we just spoke about with system restore.



Final HINT - some people actually keep an log of changes you make to your system. It takes a little time, but it will HELP retrace your steps LATER!

We all have used system restore from time to time! ITS OKAY... we happens! That is what is there for! Remember if you have questions, comments or corrections.......USE the comment section! Don't know how? Check out the post of the post it shows you HOW!






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